Reflecting on the 2012 presidential election, Half Sigma writes:
Republicans are on the losing side of the abortion issue. It doesn’t matter that Romney, personally, didn’t make abortion a big issue. Everyone knows that Republicans are against abortion, and he selected a staunchly anti-abortion Vice Presidential nominee in Paul Ryan. That the Republican Party has morons like Richard Mourdock who think that the demon-spawn of rapists are a “gift from God” only makes things that much worse.
The Edison exit polls, paid for and reported on by the major media, didn’t query voters on abortion at the state level, but Reuters has the information. The following shows the public split on the legality of abortion in the nine tightest swing states as well as in Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania–mostly white, moderate places that it is imperative for the GOP to convert to red to maintain electoral viability in the face of demographic trends (read Hispanic immigration and fecundity) coloring states like Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Nevada (which has probably already crossed the rubicon)–and eventually even strongholds like Texas–blue. The “legal” column is comprised of those saying abortion should be legal in “most” or “all” cases; the “illegal” column of those responding it should be illegal in “most” or “all” instances. The “unsure” contingents are ignored:
|State||Legal %||Illegal %|
In all twelve of the states under consideration, the pro-choice position is held by a majority of the electorate. And in places like Virginia and Colorado–just a decade ago seemingly reliably Republican–there exists pro-choice ‘super majorities’. If the GOP isn’t able to enlist the states with old America demography–Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania–in a hurry, it’s conceivable to me that I’ll never see another Republican president in my lifetime. The above strikes me as reasonable evidence that the part of the official 2012 Republican National Committee platform that reads as follows makes this crucial task even more difficult to accomplish:
We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.
HS thinks dropping the pro-life platform (along with a determination to hold the line on tax rates for high earners) from the national ticket is the way to get there. The I’m-no-political-strategist disclaimer assumed, the GOP should take a 10th amendment states’ rights tact on abortion. It’ll retain the pro-lifers (because hey, at least the federal government won’t be against us*) without turning off SWPL whites, who don’t do much aborting of their own but who like to think they’d be able to if the need ever arose. Taking a page from Gary Johnson’s playbook, it could even be pitched as being the ultimate ‘pro-choice’, position. Onward, liberty!
* In states like Mississippi (37.8% legal, 62.2% illegal), abortion could be outlawed entirely, although there’d undoubtedly be some rhetorical adroitness required to deal with the charge that to get to a states’ rights spot on abortion, Roe v Wade would have to be revisited.